Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Making the K2 portable........

KAT100 in new enclosure
In a previous post I debated to either jump on the Elecraft KX3 band wagon or convert my Elecraft K2 so it can be used both as a home base radio and also for portable op's. The bottom line for now is the KX3 is out and I am in the process of converting my K2.  The end result will be that I'll have my K2 for portable operations with an internal battery and internal QRP antenna tuner. At home the radio will then hook up to the external antenna tuner (KAT100) and if and when needed the 100 watt amp (KPA100). So I ordered the KAT100, KIO2 (RS 232 interface), KAT2, KBT2 (internal battery) and the
enclosure to house both the KAT100 and KPA100. I have completed the external antenna tuner. It went very smooth
Toroid lineup
Bifilar winding
there were 10 toroids to wind but with practice these are not a big deal. But if you feel this is the only area of kit building that stops you from ordering....there is help!!! The Toroid guy is there to lend a helping hand, you can purchase quality pre-wound toroids for any Elecraft kit. This portion of the project took me about 2 weeks. That is 2 leisurely weeks I try not to do marathon kit building sessions, I end up making mistakes and missing things. The external ATU is now mounted in it's housing (I still have the alignment of the ATU to do). I have removed the KPA100 from the top of the K2 which went very smooth. There are only 3 connectors that plug the ATU into the KPA100 and it's ready to go. It's now time to get the RS-232 inter connecting cables made along with the RS-232 interface that is installed in the K2 built as well. This allows the K2 to communicate with the ATU, Amp and computer. The battery and KAT2 antenna tuner are on there way from Elecraft and I hope when done this next part of the project they will have arrived.
 Above KAP100 waiting to be installed
below from panel assembly

If you are ever thinking of doing this project with your K2 below are some links that helped me out.

KK7P offers some very good advice along with some excellent pictures as well.
Wilcox Engineering also have some nice pictures of the unit and advice.


Casey Bahr said...


You will love the "K-Twins" configuration. One of my K2s is in this format, though seriously, I would probably never tote the K2/10W portable. That's what my KX1 is for. I think the KX3 is out for me, too, and will post my thoughts on that some time later.


VE9KK said...

Good morning Casy, I too have the KX1 and use it when I am off the beaten trail. If I am in a park and have a pic nick table then it's the K2.